You'd think tax refunds for early filers would have arrived by now. After all, it's been more than three months now since the IRS opened up the 2013 income tax filing season.
To be sure, the season got off to late start. Taxpayers in California and across the country had to wait until mid-February to begin filing. The delay was necessary to give the IRS time to update various forms following resolution of the Fiscal Cliff debate and its impact on tax laws.
There have also been concerns nationally about tax refund fraud based on identity theft slowing the processing of refunds. And the impact of budget cuts on the IRS is increasingly being felt as employees take required furlough days.
Still, for taxpayers who filed early and are not facing IRS audits, the failure of the IRS to process their refunds has become increasingly frustrating. In the age of social media, they have naturally taken to the Internet to vent their ire on the IRS.
Some of the frustrated people were affected by a software glitch made by tax software providers on a certain federal form relating to tax credits for education expenses. More than 600,000 returns were erroneously filed due to this error regarding Form 8863.
But as large as the 8863 group is, the frustration about refund delays goes well beyond that group. And in an often difficult economy in which many people struggle to make ends meet, the absence of the refunds really hurts.
For example, one woman with financial challenges filed right away on February 14 because she badly needed the $1,000 refund she expected in order to pay her rent and make car payments. Three months later, she is still waiting for that money.
Source: "Many early tax filers still waiting for refunds," CNN Money, Blake Ellis, 5-8-13